News Briefs

Friday, February 26, 2016
By Transcript Staff

WINTHROP TOWN DEMOCRATIC MEETING

The Winthrop Town Democratic Meeting announced today it is scheduled to meet March 7th, 6:30p.m at the Winthrop Senior Center.   The Committee will convene to elect offices and to select delegates to the upcoming Suffolk & Middlesex Conference. The conference scheduled for Saturday, March 26th, 2:00pm at a location to be announced is to select a male representative to the Democratic State Committee.

The Town of Winthrop is allocated 11 delegates.   Delegates must be reregistered democrats who live in the Town. Only members of the Town Committee are eligible to vote for candidates.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ENERGY COMMITTEE

The Town Manager’s office is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Energy Committee to work with new Energy Manager Frank Nitti and the Town Manager’s Office to develop policies and make recommendations about the town’s energy use and to establish an educational and outreach mission to help local homeowners understand their options in the areas of energy efficiency, energy purchasing and renewable energy alternatives.

The committee will work independently with the Energy Manager to help ensure that the town is meeting its commitment to the Massachusetts Green Communities program and to help, local homeowners and businesses to identify the best options for energy efficiency and renewable energy usage that suit their individual situations.

Any resident who is interested in serving on this committee is encouraged to contact Asst. to the Town Manager Joseph Domelowicz at jdomelowicz@town.winthro.ma.us to express their interest and willingness to serve. We ask that you submit a short bio along with your expression of interest and contact information.

BISHOP TO VISIT ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

On Sunday, Feb. 28, The Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts, will make his first visitation to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Bowdoin Street. He will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at 10 a.m. and rededicate the Our Lady, Queen of Peace altar and reredos, which came from the recently closed Church of St. John the Evangelist on Bowdoin Street in Boston (behind the State House).  People of all faiths are invited to join with the parish for this event.

On Sunday February 28, The Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts, will make his first Visitation to St John’s Episcopal Church on Bowdoin Street.  He will celebrate a Pontiifical Mass at 10am and rededicate the Our Lady, Queen of Peace altar and reredos which came from the recently closed Church of St John the Evangelist on Bowdoin Street in Boston (behind the State House).  People of all faiths are invited to join with the parish for this event.

Winthrop Police Awarded Grant to Combat Underage Drinking

The Winthrop Police Department was recently awarded a $5,000 grant to combat underage drinking. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is providing $490,960.53 in funding to 72 Massachusetts communities on a competitive basis with awards ranging from $2,000 to $15,000.

“There are many tools to combat underage drinking, and this grant provides much needed funding to target the problem,” said Winthrop Grant Officer Sean Delehanty. “Whether you are underage, plan to sell to a minor, or buy alcohol for a minor, we will be on the lookout.”

Funds support compliance checks for minors in bars, restaurants and retail locations; reverse stings and “Cops in Shops” programs; “shoulder tap” solicitations; surveillance patrols; and party patrols. Through a combination of these techniques, departments analyze and crack down on minors who seek to circumvent the law and people and businesses that enable them.

Over the past three years, activities under this grant have resulted in 917 youth citations and 377 arrests. Citations were also issued to 574 adults, and 249 adult arrests were made across the Commonwealth.

“Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is deadly serious,” said Officer Delehanty. “Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is both illegal and extremely dangerous for the minors, for others in the community, and for the parents themselves, given the legal liabilities they face.”

Although much progress has been made in the last two decades, alcohol-related crashes are all too common among young people. According to NHTSA, in 2013, 29 percent of young drivers 15 to 20 years old who were killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .01 or higher. Of those young drivers who had tested positive for alcohol, 82 percent of them had BACs of .08 or higher. NHTSA estimates that minimum drinking-age laws (21 years old) have saved 29,834 lives nationwide since 1975.

Any loss or injury on our roadways is one too many. The Winthrop Police Department, in partnership with EOPSS, recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable, and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries in Winthrop.

The Winthrop Police Department will use the grant funds to conduct a variety of underage alcohol enforcement operations in 2016. These operations may include underage stings/compliance checks, party patrols, and surveillance patrols. An overview of each type of operation is described below:

  • Underage stings/compliance checks – Underage young adults, under the direction of and working with the Winthrop police and trained by Winthrop Citizens Against Substance Abuse (CASA), will come into local businesses during the year to try to buy alcoholic beverages. Businesses where sales to underage buyers occur will be referred to the local licensing authority for administrative action. Additionally, a criminal complaint may be filed at East Boston District Court for staff caught selling alcohol to underage buyers. Reports on compliance check operations become public data under State law, meaning that the identity of businesses checked and the outcome of each check can be obtained and published by the news media.
  • Party patrols- Enforcement activities will be implemented by Winthrop Police to prevent and safely disperse underage drinking parties to reduce underage alcohol use and problems. Potential criminal offenses that may be identified during party patrols may include, but are not limited to: protective custody, minor in possession, open container, driving under the influence, and/or procuring alcohol for a minor. For criminal offenses, a criminal complaint may be filed at East Boston District Court or Chelsea Juvenile Court.
  • Surveillance patrols – Winthrop police will monitor locations throughout the community to gather information on potential underage drinking violations. These locations may include local sporting events, town conservation land, parking areas, and other areas identified as “hot spots”. Potential criminal offenses that may be identified during party patrols may include, but are not limited to: protective custody, minor in possession, open container, driving under the influence, and/or procuring alcohol for a minor. For criminal offenses, a criminal complaint may be filed at East Boston District Court or Chelsea Juvenile Court.

The Winthrop Police Department believes that by conducting a variety of activities that target both the access and use of alcohol by underage individuals, it will help to avoid the problems associated with underage drinking. It is less expensive and easier to prevent youth access to alcohol than to investigate the motor vehicle crashes, fights, and other crime that underage drinking promotes. Communities that have reduced the availability of alcohol to underage drinkers have experienced fewer crashes and fewer crimes. Preventing underage drinking is everyone’s responsibility.

The Winthrop Police Department Underage Alcohol Enforcement Operations are funded in part from grant funds from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also in partnership with Winthrop Citizens Against Substance Abuse (CASA).

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